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Draft Amendment Could Slow Bay Cleanup

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The Chesapeake Bay is on a pollution diet.

"Too much nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment are reducing the amount of oxygen in the water so that the creatures can't breathe," says the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Doug Siglin. "The underlying strategy would reduce these noxious pollutants to acceptable levels by the year 2025."

But Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has drafted an amendment that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from spending funds on bay cleanup. And that, Siglin says, could effectively put the bay diet on hold.

"If the plan does not proceed, we can anticipate a dirty bay into the indefinite future," he says.

But the American Farm Bureau Federation's Don Parrish says the pollution diet micromanages states, limits business and threatens jobs.

"It would stop economic growth and development, it would stop jobs and the ability of people to afford higher water quality in the bay," he says.

The environment appropriations bill is scheduled to come up for a vote tomorrow.

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